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[PSST: Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true…” (SH 261)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Are Sin. Disease, and Death Real?
for September 13, 2019

by Aubrey McMullin, CS, Godfrey, IL
(618) 578-9407

We just had 2 really great lessons before this one: Reality and Unreality. What is this lesson teaching us? What is it asking of us? Reaffirm what has been reviewed recently! This lesson is reminding us to hold thought firmly to Truth and recognize anything unlike God, good, as the habit of striving for higher standards in our thinking has distinct advantages. "Hold thought," says Mary Baker Eddy, in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 261), "steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts."

What are we holding steadfastly to? What are we bringing into our experience?
What is occupying thought?


This week it is pretty clear that the lesson is a reminder to not be deceived by mortality, matter, and/or any lies we might be considering regarding our spiritual being and oneness with God.

The Apostle Paul wrote: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked" (GT). God is the only power, and it’s important to be mindful of this so that we aren’t tricked into thinking otherwise.

The Bible is full of promises of the protection of the righteous man by God. The history of mankind, nevertheless, from the earliest recorded time down to today, is the story of a belief in, or at any rate of fear of, the dominion of good by evil. This week's lesson is also filled with promises of protection and the constant reminder to not be deceived (see citations B1, B9, B10, B12, B15).

What might be some claims that deceive us? What do we feel fooled by? How do we handle these claims? Let's keep it very simple this week with our students. This lesson is very black and white, and filled with promises of healing and protection if we do one thing: BE NOT DECEIVED.
So, how do we do that?

Deception is mere negation, as Mary Baker Eddy writes on page 32 of No and Yes, she says: "A lie is a negation, — alias nothing, or the opposite of something. Good is great and real." What this means is very simple. It is that every material thought or its externalized phenomenon is a lie about man, divine creation, the full image and likeness of God; and that this being so, it is nothing.

The question, then, which we need to ask ourselves is: "Do I need protection against nothing?"

Speaking in the absolute, of course we don't. Then it must be remembered that, in absolute Science, and there is no other Science, man is the image and likeness of God, Principle, and is "born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." The man born of the flesh, in other words the lie of a liar, is mesmerized by the lie of material birth, and does need protection against it, and this protection he finds in the discovery of that a lie, as Christ Jesus says, abides not in the truth; is, as Mary Baker Eddy, following Jesus' teaching, points out, a negation, nothing.

What does each section say to us about not being deceived? What are some of the promises of fulfillment provided? What claims seem real to us (see citations SH3, SH4, SH5, SH8, SH13, SH16, SH17)?

Strict adherence to Principle brings, and must bring every time, a harmonious result. Paul told the foolish Galatians, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

How do we address the claims that seem real to us and dissolve them with the truth that is the allness of God (see citations SH2, SH3, SH5, SH9, SH10, SH12, SH14, SH15, SH18, SH20)?

Man only needs to realize that everything unlike Principle, God, is a lie, and that the way to combat this lie, in whatever disguise it presents itself, is through the understanding of Truth. That is why Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This knowledge of the truth is the ability to judge righteous judgment, to judge, that is to say, between truth and error, so as to separate the truth from the lie. Mary Baker Eddy writes, on page 17 of Unity of Good: "A lie has only one chance of successful deception, — to be accounted true. Evil seeks to fasten all error upon God, and so make the lie seem part of eternal Truth."

What do the Bible stories in this lesson teach us about deception and forgiveness and compassion and Truth (see citations B14, B18, SH16)?
What do they say about faith and the nothingness of material things?

Simply stated, nothing exists really but God and man, Mind and its idea, Principle and its reflection, Spirit and its creation, and, consequently, every material manifestation which claims, in any way, to add to or to counterfeit these, is a lie about God and man. What will you believe about you? About your fellow man? About the world? We have a lot of examples this week – a lot of answers, given in different ways so that we find at least one way that resonates.
Work with your students to find one example that resonates with them, and have a great Sunday School class with them!

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